About Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome
The cervical facet joints in the spine connect the cervical vertebrae to one another and allow the cervical spine to move. Like other joints in the body, facet joints have cartilage to cushion the vertebrae during movement. Degenerative disc disease, wear/tear and injury can cause inflammation in the facet joints, resulting in neck, back and radiating nerve pain. Cervical facet joint syndrome, or cervical facet joint osteoarthritis can be painful, limiting the mobility of the spine. The pain is often described as neck stiffness, with “clicking or cracking sounds” when the neck is turned from left to right. Additionally, patients report pain that tends to stay in the middle of their neck and sometimes may even radiate outward to their shoulders mimicking shoulder pain. Pain from cervical facet joint syndrome does not often radiate beyond the elbow into the hands or fingers. The symptoms of cervical facet syndrome can be similar to other spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs and sciatica. An accurate diagnosis will ensure the right treatment is used to offer relief from facet syndrome pain and mobility issues.
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Symptoms of Cervical Joint Facet Syndrome
Symptoms of cervical facet joint syndrome can vary in their intensity and description. Generally, most patients report pain that tends to remain in the middle of their neck with radiation out to their bilateral shoulders. Sometimes the pain can remain one-sided, either on the right or the left. Pain is described as achy, deep, sharp, intermittent, and/or severe. Pain can be made worse with activity and even cause headaches and facial pain if severe.
Treatments for Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome
Cervical facet joint syndrome or cervical facet arthritis does not have a cure, but the progression can be slowed down, and symptoms can be treated. To relieve cervical facet joint syndrome pain and symptoms, advanced interventional spine treatments are available at Ospina Medical. We offer a multimodal approach to treating cervical facet joint pain in the form of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification and when needed interventional spine procedures. These can be in the form of cortisone or steroid injections into and around the cervical facet joints and radiofrequency nerve ablations to help minimize pain. We also offer Regenexx treatments such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow concentrate containing stem cells that can be experimentally used to help heal, rejuvenate and slow the progression of cervical facet joint syndrome.
If you suffer from cervical facet joint syndrome, come visit us at Ospina Medical. Our clinic is located in Midtown Manhattan. Contact our office to schedule an exam and consultation to learn more about your treatment options.